Gratitude for Gulls


This may be the perfect gull. Cosmopolitan, versatile and elegant in flight, Bonaparte’s Gull is a gull for people who don’t like gulls. It slices the frigid air like a swallow. It drifts and swoops and swirls before me here on the Niagara River as the giant falls roar in the distance.

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On War and Hairdressing


My Veteran's Day contribution comes from a precious friend, Erica Heilman, who produces radio exploring the depths, summits and dusky corners of the human condition. Over the course of two days, Erica interviewed Vaughn Hood, who was a 118-pound barber when he was drafted into the Vietnam War. Never have I heard anyone talk about the Vietnam War with such honesty and simple eloquence. Erica calls it "the story of an extraordinary American life."

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Backgrounder: Where Are the Snow Geese?


For three decades, as autumn leaves blazed and swirled across Vermont, an annual rite of fall was the Champlain Valley "snowstorm." Snow Geese in migration, sometimes more than 10,000 in day, filled the skies and covered fields in a honking blanket of geese. But here’s the forecast for the fall of 2015: the blizzard ain’t happening anymore. Instead we've got flurries.

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